The fall of BurgerIM is hard to comprehend. When the president and the founder of the company, Oren Loni, left the country, all of the BurgerIM franchisees were left in despair. Many employees were not paid for months and many of the franchise owners were left bankrupt. This BurgerIM franchise owners steered through the turmoil, navigated their way through the uneven waters, against the fate of BurgerIM restaurants all over US and found a way to survive. Although it is a long road ahead of the now small business burger joint, the owners are working hard to serve the Dallas community with quality food and service.
The owners Lubaba Nahar, Arif, Yasser and Allahrakha have rebranded their BurgerIM franchise into Burger Hut and revamped their menu to serve quality and fresh burgers and other items. From when the BurgerIM disaster happened until mid- August, they continued operating under the same name 'BurgerIM' and then changed it to 'Burger Hut' in order to rebrand and reimage the restaurant.
According to the article by Restaurant Business, BurgerIM had accepted applications from inexperienced owners and had low financial requirements. "BurgerIM made its franchisees suffer big time. If we think now, their intentions were always questionable. BurgerIM attracted people with almost zero financial qualification requirements. It is reported that BurgerIM sold 1200 licenses. We are lucky to be in those top 20 or so out of 1200 who have survived this disaster plus the pandemic," Lubaba added.
"After the BurgerIM disaster, we were running everything on our own. All of the stores in the Dallas metro area were closed, and we were the only branch, as per our knowledge, that survived through all of this mess plus the pandemic. We are so grateful to our loyal customers in this area. We faced a lot of issues with our supply chain upon the BurgerIM disaster and they refused to provide us with the same items like beef patties, etc. That's how we decided to rebrand," Lubaba told NewsBreak.
Allahrakha has been in the food business for more than 25 years and the other owners worked in restaurants before they got together for the franchise. "My husband and I wanted to start a small business to serve high quality products to our community. We both love cooking and are so passionate about food and serving others. It had to be a restaurant! But financing and owning it solely was a big decision that we didn't think we were ready. So when we found out that Arif and Yasser were also looking for a partnership and had the same interests and goals as us, it all came together. We took the leap and bought the franchise in May 2019," Lubaba told NewsBreak.
Ever since the disaster, the owners of now Burger Hut struggled to find ways to keep their business afloat. The owners found it difficult to continue selling the original BurgerIM menu due to the supply chain issues. At first, they teamed up with all the other BurgerIM stores and continued. But then the pandemic hit and many stores started shutting their doors. Burger Hut owners learned to prepare those recipes in- house. "In the process, we ended up with recipes that were even better tasting than BurgerIM!" Lubaba added.
"We had no employees to work with and we, the partners and our families stepped up to do all the ground work and serve our customers. It was the question of survival. But no matter what, we were consistent with the quality of food we served to our customers and we think, that helped us keep our doors open," Lubaba told NewsBreak.
Burger Hut has been in service all this while. They made the transition from BurgerIM to Burger Hut in mid- August and are all set for a grand opening as their very own Burger Hut!
The crisis doubled up with the pandemic, is a hard hit on a small business.
"Currently, we are hardly floating. The most overhead we have at this moment is the lease - it is too high. We wanted to negotiate with the owner considering the current situation but unfortunately he did not agree. In fact, we have to pay fine for every single day that we are late for payment. I wish we had some help to protect and help our business," Lubaba told NewsBreak.
They offer all the available delivery options like doorDash, UberEats and online order through ChowNow.
"The wide variety of burgers you see here are not commonly found at any other burger stores. We pride in our consistency and quality. We prepare everything fresh every single day in the store. We have different varieties of fries, chicken wings, strips, customized hotdogs, and pita sandwiches in gyro and crispy chicken. We serve gourmet fresh at a competitive price. We are also going to introduce our special in-house recipe, fried chicken very soon," Lubaba added.
Lubaba's personal favorites are on the spicy side, Jalapeno Cargado with mushrooms and Nashville hot sauce and also the crispy chicken Pita with extra tzatziki sauce.
The names make me crave to try these, anyone else?
Burger Hut Address: 805 Woodbridge Pkwy Suite 100, Wylie, TX 75098
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